Palace of Treason

Palace of TreasonRead the review of the Red Sparrow Trilogy at my blogI had a blast reading Palace of Treason It has everything you need from a spy thriller sex, violence, mind games and betrayals with the same authenticity as Red Sparrow.There is a main plot but it is for name s sake It takes back seat to the shenanigans of the returning characters from Red Sparrow Dominika, Nate, Benford, Zyuganov etc And Putin plays a bigger part in this story This cast of characters is excellent and every one of them is well developed The key takeaway for me, though, is its humour This book is full of it It is irreverent, dark and crude or highbrow as the situation demands And this is what makes Palace of Treason better than Red Sparrow, since it does not take itself so seriously. Almost 2 years ago to the day, Jason Matthews unleashed Red Sparrow on the world It was a fantastic spy thriller that evoked all the drama, intrigue, and mystery of the cold war classics updated with a contemporary flair for sex, violence, and politics It was a unique read, but also a refreshing reminder of what the genre used to be all about.I am pleased to say Palace of Treason actually improves upon the first It still has the feel of a cold war thriller equal parts John le Carr , Frederick Forsyth, and Robert Ludlum but it also incorporates some of the sexy adventure of Ian Fleming at his cinematic best Matthews has a knack for spy craft and politics that talks to his status as a CIA insider This isn t just a man who s read the books, watched the movies, and studied the news, this is somebody who has lived in that world and survived to tell about it.Part of what makes his novel so unique is that he incorporates real people and places into the story So many authors rely on the safety of fictional stand ins for celebrities, but Matthews not only mentions the Vladimir Putin by name, but makes him a central character to the story It s daring, but it gives the story a ring of authenticity Similarly, the problems and potential of a Russia coming back to power is dealt with here, along with the terrifying specter of an Iran in pursuit of nuclear weapons.Nathaniel Nash CIA gets some interesting development this time around, fully fleshing out his character and establishing him as of a player in the espionage game He s a smarter, wiser, observant agent, one who can sniff out for example the would be turncoat hiding beneath the dirty, disheveled, vomit encrusted homeless man who wanders into the embassy We get some deeper insights into the depth of his feelings for Dominika, and also come to understand some of the consequences he faces for getting so close As for Dominika Egorova SVR , she really flourishes this time around, becoming a heroine worthy of carrying a franchise She s been tested, broken, and put back together, and she s stronger than ever because of it She s not above falling back on her training as a sex spy to achieve what she needs, and she s both smart enough and crafty enough to survive the treacherous politics of the Russian secret service It s hard enough to be a spy, and even harder to be a double agent, but it takes somebody special to survive being a double agent spy whose own boss wants her dead.The violence here is at a whole other level compared to the first book, with an emphasis on torture that I m sure will leave some readers feeling very uncomfortable It s brutal, it s graphic, and it s intense Putin s entire regime is ugly and fearsome, and the we see of the darkness within the Kremlin, the we come to appreciate what a delicate dance Dominika is forced to master There s still plenty of sex and sexuality, although most of it is suggestive here, but Dominika s origins and training are never far from the surface of the story.Fans of the first Jason Matthews book will find a lot here to enjoy and appreciate The story is deeper and complex, the characters are better developed, there s of s globe trotting feel, and the entire atmosphere is just stronger Fortunately, there s enough quick recapping early on to allow new readers to dive right in and not feel like they ve missed anything The cold war itself may be dead, but its literary spirit is still very much alive with Palace of Treason Originally reviewed at Beauty in Ruins Can you paint with all the colors of the windThis book follows the first in the series, Red Sparrow, which was a superbly realistic, fast paced thriller of U.S Russia espionage, outstanding for a debut Unfortunately here, overshadowing a somewhat intriguing and suspenseful plot is the author s adoption of highly annoying and lazy literary crutches, apparently for the sake of expedience 1 The talking ghosts of dead former associates a gaggle of 3 now who follow and talk to the U.S s female Russian counter spy Dominika Egorova, so instead of having conflicting inner thoughts these former people in her life are there to offer advice on the spot I know, it sounds ridiculous It worked when it was her mother and she very briefly appeared twice as an apparition Now, Matthews use of this device is an insult to intelligent and literary readers 2 1 is not nearly as tiresome or overused though as Matthews utilization of Egorova s ability to see hues of colors glowing around a potential adversary s head as a sort of on the spot lie detector e.g., swirling, warm purple honesty , pulsating blue intelligence and so forth The use of this as a literary shortcut can be felicitous at 1, 2, maybe 3 key points in a novel Using it every several pages vexes the reader and makes the writer appear either condescending or indolent I am giving up on this series The editor s refusal to reign in such bullshit lets me know that he she believes Matthews readers to be idiots I m not going to waste further time or money. In this sequel to Red Sparrow Dominica is back in Mother Russia, trying to keep her head above water, spying for the Americans, while Nate Nash, her handler and former lover has no idea what has become of her A new source is developed for the Russians, and suddenly, both Russian intelligence and the CIA are clambering to get their hands on the information about a secret nuclear program in the making.This series is so amazingly written The details and depth of knowledge in the spy craft is just top notch You never doubt for a second that you are RIGHT THERE, making the drop, meeting the double agent it s impossible to put down And of course, the romance between Nate and Dominica is this beautiful, tortured, dark Russian thing Are they doomed Maybe But you can t help but hope for these two Please excuse typos name misspellings Entered on screen reader. Palace of Treason is the second book in the highly regarded Red Sparrow spy and espionage trilogy by Jason Matthews, a retired officer of the CIA s Operations Directorate He completed the trilogy earlier this year along with the release of the first one as a major Hollywood movie with Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgerton in the lead roles I read the first book about a month or so ago, letting it linger in my memory until I was ready to jump back in with my full attention Let me say, the first book was so incredibly good that I worried my expectations might be too high for the second Thank God I was so wrong Palace of Treason picks up several months following the previous book, with Captain Dominika Egorova returning to Russia and the Russian Intelligence Services SVR shaken up by personal loss Whether or not she will spy for the Americans any is up in the air Dominika is faced with new challenges including the extra attention she is gaining from Russian President Putin and various political members of his cabinet Even dangerous is her new line boss, Colonel Alexei Zyuganov, an evil man trying to climb the Kremlin chain of power He views Dominika as competition, keeping him from reaching his goals Because of that, Zyuganov sees no problem in having Dominika assassinated and works to perfect his plan While Dominika fights through her challenges, Nate Nash, her love and CIA handler, is also dealing with his own He is assigned another mole This time it s an angry old Russian general who doesn t like the new Putin leadership and wants to share all that he can, but only on his terms As much as Nate wants to help his reckless undercover agent, getting caught and tortured seems likely Nate has also been assigned a new agent to train Hannah Archer who will serve as Dominika s communications contact inside of Russia Hannah is a talented and gifted agent who grows close to both Nate and Dominika as she is tasked with keeping the mole safe Further complicating matters is a certain high level member of the United States government who does not get the Director level position he was fully counting on and decides selling secrets to the Russians for money will provide himself with absolution Not only does he contact a high level Russian diplomat, start sharing key information, but he is also willing to search for the list of moles serving the U.S government and reveal Dominika s secret to her bosses.Matthews does an incredibly good job of taking all of the characters, plotting, and locations and putting them together in a tapestry of success Like the first book, he exudes the style and feeling of a great John Le Carre spy thriller It has the descriptive international flavor and sense of the classic Ian Fleming And it has the crisp beauty of flawless storytelling that I often compare to John Grisham However, this is no semi clean Grisham esque story It is a George R.R Martin Game of Thrones view of the underbelly of real world government and back street politics in the new cold war era It is raw, violent, sensuous, provocative, and full of intellectual gamesmanship The story of Dominika Egorova and National Nash continues to develop and grow in this second book They are both field intelligence officers Both trained in their own respective spy schools to outwit the enemy And both carrying personal baggage that will forcefully influence their decisions and loyalties to both their countries and to themselves In the end, their passion for each other is second only to their commitment towards making the world a better place for the common good This was an excellent read It was just a little less exciting than the first book, but still one of the best thrillers I have enjoyed reading in a long time That s saying a lot because I have read several well written suspense novels over the last several years This easily belongs at the top of that list This is the kind of book where you stay up late and skip whatever you had planned to just escape with an excellent book I can t remember having this tingling feeling since reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and becoming acquainted with Lisbeth Salander, one of the most unique literary characters ever created And yes, this was that kind of book What makes this book so awesome Just like the first one, it comes down to Matthews ability to 1 create 4 dimensional yes, I said 4 not 3 characters that in bed themselves in your mind and your heart, 2 develop a complex and intricate plotline that was fluid, constantly moving with snappy dialog and action, and full of gut check surprises along the way, and 3 ability to use his unique background and experience as an ex CIA agent to tell a spy story in a special way that makes you feel like you are there and intimately involved with Dominika and Nash s story Overall, this book is as awesome as the first one Absolutely worthy of a 5 star rating It was so good that I found myself continually re reading paragraphs and certain parts twice because I was so immersed in the moment I will rest for a month and let this linger in my mind, but then I cannot wait to start reading the third and last book in the trilogy The Kremlin s Candidate I have heard some unsettling things about the third book, but I hope it lives up to the first two An excellent sequel to Red Sparrow by CIA insider Jason Matthews Russian spy Dominika Egarova is back at work in Moscow working for the CIA s Nate Nash, working to undermine the usurper, Putin Meanwhile, there are moles in both countries trying to out the opposition s assets as well as thwart Iran s desire to build nuclear weapons The biggest battle is between Egarova and her psychotic boss, who has worked his way up from being a torture specialist at Lubyanka prison Good and mounting suspense, with authentic feel to it 4.5 stars.I forgot to mention that Matthews continued his signature of ending every chapter with a recipe as there is eating in each chapter Central and Eastern European or Russian fare mostly. Who doesn t want the skinny on what makes Putin tick This commercial spy novel is excellent in its touch on contemporary issues I was reading a section one evening where the US had convinced an Iranian physicist to leak important details about a new and vastly superior centrifuge system which would speed up production of uranium enrichment They used blackmail to hasten his decision making along, and that technique along with others in the preceding novel in the trilogy seemed extremely believable.The following morning, as I was starting my 1st cup of coffee I read the headlines It was all about the acceleration of uranium enrichment by Iranian labs Now, before we give the writer points for being so prescient, it turns out this writer knows his stuff intimately.The author, if you did not know it, spent three decades as a CIA operative and actually was responsible for recruiting foreign agents.While I found the espionage aspect and detailed technical issues that were discussed probably as good as anything Tom Clancy clicked out, the writer knows his audience well This is commercial fiction and so includes some sex scenes, a love interest, some cop humor, auras, etc Just so we know that the author does not take himself too seriously, he ends every single chapter up with a recipe for one of the food items which made its appearance in the preceding pages Clever guy.This second novel in the trilogy is a worthwhile beach book if I ve ever read one It ain t Shakespeare but a very fun spy thriller This book wasn t as satisfying as Red Sparrow, and probably partly because of the audio format, I was ready for it to be over before it was.The good parts Putin as a character is fantastic and complex and probably the best part of the novel As Domenika finds success in uncovering traitors, she gets pulled closer into his circle at the same time that someone is trying to uncover her double work.I really like the auras and ghosts, although it s a bit uneven because Domenika seems to be the only person benefitting from them, and she explains them to Nate as something Russians just have as part of their world Were that true, I would expect Putin to catch her instantly.There are some stereotypical characters even within Matthews own world The short ugly evil guy The sociopathic female killing machine These are duplicated and reused in ways I found redundant and unnecessary.The recipe thing feels even forced in this book, where the only sensory detail in an entire chapter is a random dish and you just know it s going to show up at the end of the chapter I just am not sure it works.The spy landscape is complex, and nobody is safe I like the moments when people go back to earlier, non technological training because information has failed. Having taken the time to check out this interesting espionage series, I am intrigued to see where Jason Matthews intends on taking things with Nate and Dominika He does not disappoint in this middle novel, the true meat of the trilogy After a harrowing end to the first novel, Dominika is back in Russia, working hard for the SVR and helping to run a discrete but highly important mission Using a Sparrow under her, Dominika is able to obtain top secret Iranian nuclear documents from a high ranking official With Iran s sanctions and the Western attempt to nullify their nuclear program, Dominika could bring back information that would prove Russia is seeking to countermand the international order and facilitate an ongoing nuclear program in Iran Her success brings Dominika into the inner circle and merits high praise from President Putin himself, who may have his eye on her for some of his own personal gifts As covertly as she can, Dominika reaches out to CIA operative Nate Nash, now stationed in Athens, to deliver the information she has, in hopes of giving the Americans the proof they need that the sanctions are being violated right under their noses Meeting in a neutral location, Dominika and Nash exchange news and set up a ruse to ensure the CIA learns first hand what is going on However, that encounter ends disastrously and almost costs Dominika everything, though Nate is able to ascertain the long range plan that Putin has with the Iranian Government Trying to keep Dominika under cover and yet turn her into the next American mole, Nate must work day and night, risking everything, while also trying to downplay his emotional connection to this SVR agent Sparks turn to a raging fire between them, leaving both Nate and Dominika unable to define what is going on between them, while violating CIA orders with each passing second Wanting to keep Dominika inside Russia but still able to report, Nate organises a handler to be providing the needed link to the Agency Nate helps train Hannah Archer, whose wiles appear to match those of Dominika in almost every way Sure that his encounters with Dominika will become report analysis only, Nate allows himself to fall into the clutches of this woman, though the thought of his beloved SVR agent remains front and centre in his brain When the Russians eventually learn of a new mole, they scour their entire intelligence apparatus, sure that the weak link will surface in enough time for another brutal final solution With Dominika still in good standing with President Putin, she can only hope that her truth has not been revealed and that he is not toying with her Nate will do anything he can to protect her, both as an agent and because of their connection However, sometimes it is better to cut one s losses, especially when the Russians are on the other side Another brilliant novel that furthers the complex espionage that Matthews has come to make all his own A trilogy that continues to impress many, especially those who love a traditional novel of spy games Highly recommended to those with the patience and interest in deep rooted spy novels, la John Le Carr I admit that I started this trilogy because of all the hype it was getting online and stuck with the first novel, which began slowly I had to remind myself that I am not one who normally reads well crafted spy novels, which seek to forego the superficial banter and develop over time, enriching the reading experience This novel picks up the impact from the opening pages, pushing me to immerse myself in all the action without a chance to breathe Nate Nash and Dominika Egorova may come from different spheres but their dedication cannot be discounted Matthews does well again, showing that Nash s love of country can sometimes be clouded when blood rushes from his brain to other extremities, though he would surely call it part of the mission Matthews adds the complexities of Nash s inability to treat Dominika simply as a mole and someone who is going to help bring Putin and Russia to their knees, but that might be one of the greater aspects of his character throughout this piece Dominika s secret synesthesia becomes a central part of her character and is used throughout the narrative quite effectively, especially to allow the reader to better understand the emotional banter taking place in a realm espionage where the players are encouraged to remain beige Dominika s struggle both to stay alive and to resurrect her Sparrow persona proves central to the story s advancement, particularly when Putin is sometimes one of her escapades Bone chilling does not begin to describe this sub plot Matthews personalises the story effectively with his own experiences within the CIA, pulling me deeper into the narrative and wondering what might come next The reader can dine on a methodical understanding of the world of espionage with results dependent on the risks undertaken Extensive mention of cultural dishes throughout the piece is complemented by Matthew s addition of basic recipes embedded at the end of each chapter Lighter fare in a novel full of dark plot development I cannot wait to get my hands on the final novel to see where it takes the story and how Matthews hopes to tie it all together.Kudos, Mr Matthews, for another stellar novel This series has won me over and I hope to spread the word to anyone who will listen.Love hate the review An ever growing collection of others appears at Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge The Thrilling Sequel To Red Sparrow CIA Insider Jason Matthews S Compulsively Readable New York Times Bestseller And Edgar Award Winner Featuring Russian Spy Dominika Egorova And CIA Agent Nate Nash Shimmers With Authenticity The Villains Are Richly Drawnthe Scenes Of Them On The Job Are Beyond Chilling The New York Times Book ReviewCaptain Dominika Egorova Of The Russian Intelligence Service Despises The Oligarchs, Crooks, And Thugs Of Putin S Russia But What No One Knows Is That She Is Also Working For The CIA Her Sparrow Training In The Art Of Sexual Espionage Further Complicates The Mortal Risks She Must Take, As Does Her Love For Her Handler Nate Nash A Shared Lust That Is As Dangerous As Treason As Dominika Expertly Dodges Exposure, She Deals With A Murderously Psychotic Boss, Survives An Iranian Assassination Attempt And Attempts To Rescue An Arrested Double Agent And Thwart Putin S Threatening Flirtations A Grand, Wildly Entertaining Ride Through The Steel Trap Mind Of A CIA Insider, Palace Of Treason Is A Story As Suspenseful And Cinematic As The Best Spy Movies The Philadelphia Inquirer One That Feels Fresh And So Possible, In Fact, That It S Doubtful This Novel Can Ever Be Published In Russia

Librarian s note There is than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.Jason Matthews is a retired officer of the CIA s Operations Directorate Over a thirty three year career he served in multiple overseas locations and engaged in clandestine collection of national security intelligence, specializing in denied area operations Matthews conducted recruitment operations against So

❮PDF❯ ✫ Palace of Treason ✓ Author Jason  Matthews –
  • Paperback
  • 608 pages
  • Palace of Treason
  • Jason Matthews
  • 01 November 2017
  • 9781501135071

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